Freckles in April: Some Closing Thoughts on the 21DC

Monday, September 5, 2011

Some Closing Thoughts on the 21DC

While we wait for everyone to finish up and the last link parties to close, here are my slightly scattered thoughts on doing Challenge 2.0:

I think I'd like to do it again and there are two possible ways of going about it-

1. Do another 21 day challenge in 6 months. I'd have to take on a collaborator because it was a LOT of work for me and I think I'd go crazy if I did it all by myself again. I'd let weekends (or at least Sundays?) be off days, to be used as catch up or pajama days or whatever. I think we all could have used some breathing time.

2. Do a handful of 1 week challenges throughout the year. Just long enough to get you excited about your closet and all its possibilities again but not so long that you get burned out.

Twenty-one days felt really long to me but that could be because I was the one answering emails and tallying points and making sure people weren't submitting random links that had nothing to do with the prompt. It was slightly exhausting.

In the future I think I'll mix up more concrete prompts (eg. wear a belt!) with more abstract ideas to allow for a little more creativity (and difficulty, for those who want it). I've come up with a few that I'm already kind of excited about. I'll also probably recycle a few of my favorites from this challenge (the monochrome and copycat days were SO fun for me and pattern mixing seemed to really stretch a lot of people).

What are your thoughts? Did the length work for you or would you prefer a shorter challenge? What did you like or dislike? Do you have constructive criticism? What would you change or like to see for the next round?


  1. Just submitted my last day's look! I definitely would love to do this again. I'd totally be interested in helping out if you were looking for someone to collaborate with!

    I agree that some of the days could use more structure, maybe having a list of goals to accomplish within the challenge period?

    Overall I think the challenge was great, I'll continue to follow you for any future events!

  2. Shorter..just because then those of us not participating could enjoy more reguarly scheduled programming ;-) plus, I might join a week's worth of prompts - it's a lot less daunting!

  3. I think with the weeks you could do some easier prompts and then some adventerous ones, depending on the people that want to join.

    Longer ones are still awesome and doing them in different seasons could help you use your wardrobe for the weather and style!

    Loved the challenge and I'll be willing to participate either way!

  4. I love the idea of doing another set of challenges! While the one week ones sound good for re-inspiring me about my wardrobe, the longer time period made it more of a commitment. I like the idea of Sundays off since it helps create a catch up day for participants as well as the administrators.

    I would definitely be willing to collaborate! I think it would be awesome to have a challenge in the late fall if possible, since so many people wrote that the oppressive heat of summer made it difficult to dress the way they would have liked to for some of the challenges!

  5. I think that the week long challenges (maybe 5 days to give weekend freedom) sound wonderful. I had a hard time committing to all of the challenge and just did a few days here and there instead.

  6. i started out strong, but then went away and didn't get back into it. i would definitely do a short one!!

  7. I loved it!! 21 days was a bit long for me. I had every intention of doing the entire challenge but then I got sick about day 17 and kinda gave up after that. So maybe a bit shorter and I'd feel like it was more doable.
    I'd also be willing to help you keep track of everything, I can't imagine how much work that must've been.
    Seriously a wardrobe challenge during a different season makes me a little giddy!! Boots, cardigans, and jackets, yippee!

  8. I didn't think 21 days seemed that long, but then, that's because I was always intending to start participating. While I would fully support another long one (having done 30 for 30, you can probably appreciate the transformation that is a long-term reevaluation of your wardrobe), I echo the thoughts that a 5 or 6-day run would be cool.

  9. I would love to do it again. A week sounds great!

  10. 1. yes for harder challenges, these were a GREAT start, but I'd love to challenge myself even more.

    2. YES to only weekdays :-) I always get dressed on the weekends, obviously, but it was harder for me to remember to take my photos!

    3. I didn't mind the length at all, but I'd of course participate in a shorter challenge!

    I'd definitely be interested in collaborating too, if it worked out! I have a lot of ideas stirring around in my head after this challenge. :-)

  11. First of all, thank you so much for all of your crazy hard work to put this challenge on. I loved it. After the second week, I was ready for a break, but I'm stubborn and stuck with it. I think 21 days would be fun again, but with Sunday's off. I also think one week challenges would be awesome (probably more so).

    And as with lots of gals I'm sure, I would be happy to help out with anything. :)

  12. 1. I would love to do another 21DC and I do like the idea of weekends off to catch up too.

    2. Also like weekly ones so we don't have to wait another 6 months to do another one!

    All in all, I appreciate all your hard was so much fun!

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  14. This was an amazing experience, so huge props to you for all of your hard work on it. I thought that 21 days was a little overwhelming, but it definitely contributed to the experience by making it more transformative and building community. So there were advantages and disadvantages to the length of it.

    Shorter challenges would be fun, too, but it would be a different kind of experience. It would definitely be nice to do one in another season, and weekends or Sundays off would be a nice break.

  15. Thanks so much! I started off strong, but ran into some time management difficulties, and had to drop out. The whole time I was thinking, "I hope she does this again for cold weather outfits!" I learned a TON, went through quite a personal journey about my self image. It was just what I needed.
    So, whatever you come up with, I hope it is more balanced for your life, and I am sure it will be for us as well.

  16. I agree that a shorter one (like 5 or 6 day) would be great! I'd love one for colder weather.

    I'd also be happy to help out if you need it.

    14 Shades Of Grey

  17. I loved it. I got so many compliments from my husband, and it really helped me to see that I have a lot to work with fashion wise, and that just making the teeniest bit of extra effort can have a big impact. I think for the future, I would prefer shorter challenges spread throughout the year.

    Thank you for putting together such a fun time!

  18. I would be all about doing this again! I didn't do it everyday, so maybe I shouldn't be the one giving my opinion... but it was great to get out there and read other blogs!

  19. Would absolutely love to do this again, especially in a different season. Like others have said, cold weather clothes give you lots of fun layers and accessories to bring in. Some days I had a good idea but knew it would be way too hot to wear in August. Or the clothes I had in mind were packed with my winter stuff.

    21 days started feeling long to me too, but I think having the weekends (or even just Sunday) off might have made a big difference.

    I think one-week challenges would be fun, especially if they were a tiny bit more difficult. I think the prompts you used for this one were good because they probably worked for anyone's starting point. (And, as we saw, the more adventurous people found ways to stretch themselves.)

    The point: This was great! Thank you!

  20. I loved the challenge! It really helped me narrow down what I was going to wear. I also liked connecting with other bloggers such as yourself. And my favorite prompt was the monochrome one.

  21. I loved it exactly how it was! Loved all the prompts and length! Thanks so much for all of your hard work- I love that you commented personally on so many in the flickr group!

  22. I loved this challenge. I think a weekdays only would be better though and perhaps a shorter length. After awhile, I noticed some people started falling back. I know I did because I was driving for about seven of the 21 days wearing yoga pants and a crummy tee :)

  23. thank you for all the hard work you put into this! It was great to see what everyone did with your prompts and it was inspiring!

    I would say the multiple one week challenges would be better in the future. It makes me a little burst of inspiration here and there to remind us that we haven't thought of everything with respect to our closets.

    I found the weekend prompts hard to do because I don't post on the weekends, but I just shifted a bit when I did which challenges to accomadate for my blogging schedule. It was nice to have that flexibility.

    I look forward to whatever you do next with the challenge! Thanks again for the inspiration and all your hard work!

  24. I loved it! I am glad it was not much longer, as I am enjoying hanging out in my pajamas today. ;) I think I was more adventurous the first week, and though I participated every day, I was a little less likely to push my own boundaries toward the end. Either that, or my boundaries felt less rigid, so I didn't notice.

    I would love to do it again-the great thing about the longer length is that it makes it more of a change of thought and habit than just a week long fling. I don't know if that makes sense. It's not coming out of my head like I'd like.

    Also, I would love to help with any future challenges, though it looks like you have plenty of volunteers.

  25. I never once posted a picture, but I did every challenge. Some days I combined challenges into one outfit because I missed the first few days, and then I took a trip over a weekend so I didn't know what some of the challenges would be while I was gone and couldn't pack accordingly. Without posting pictures, the time commitment wasn't too bad for me for the three weeks, but I can see how week-long challenges might be better. Also, I don't think anyone would actually consider me fashionable, but this challenge taught me quite a lot, not least that my wardrobe has some serious holes that are holding me back fashion-wise. Like, I have almost no neutrals. And I have only one belt that fits right now, and it's not the type that can be worn over anything. And all I have in the way of pants were jeans (I bought a pair of sky-blue slacks partway into the challenge). And practically none of my skirts fit right now, eight weeks postpartum with my third child. And I don't have a single button-up shirt to tuck in! So now I have a list of needs and wants to guide my shopping over the next few months, and hopefully the lessons I learned will stick with me long after that.

  26. I love the idea of a week here or there. I didn't think the 21 days seemed too long, but I could definitely see how YOU could have been getting a bit burned out.

    I love you, thanks for doing this.

  27. First, this was fantastic! Way to go! I hope you take a nice break from all the hard work you put into it. A nice break like a trip to NYC, maybe?

    I agree that weekends should be out, especially if you do another summer one, but probably any time of year.

    Also, 21 Days was kinda long. Maybe 10 or 15? (weekdays only)

    I love incorporating more creative prompts with concrete ones, and that you mostly shied away from having to wear a specific item because I think this challenge is all about working with your closet, not having to go buy something to style.

    And to close, I am always happy to return for blog design. Kidding! ;)

    North Meets South

  28. I also have to echo everything everyone has said, thank you so much for "hosting" this challenge and for all of your hard work, into the wee hours I'm sure, that you put into this.

    Here are my few thoughts on the challenge:

    1-I don't think the challenge was too long, people seem to want a shorter challenge, but doesn't that take the challenge out of it and just make it easier for everyone? I don't think that's the point here, maybe that's just me?

    2-I think additional challenges through the seasons would be fun, it lets everyone work with their wardrobe as a whole, instead of just by seasonal items.

    3-If you ever need help with anything, seriously, I'd love to help out. I'm totally a sucker for all things fashion, not to mention, I need things to keep my life busy. It's currently not, in the slightest and I wish it were.

    4-I think adding even more challenging aspects to the challenge would be fun and a needed boost for some who already throw a lot of these concepts into their wardrobe.

    Thanks again, Kayla, it was a lot of fun and was the perfect kickstart for me to start my own fashion blogging. I'll continue to turn to you for ideas though, don't you worry! :)

  29. I loved the whole challenge, but I can imagine that it must have been a lot of work for you. I really like the idea of a few week-long challenges throughout the year. Like you said, it would get us excited about our wardrobes.


  30. I think it would be great to do another challenge! I didn't participate this time around because I was in the process of moving but LOVED all of your prompts, and might go back and do it myself, just to get some new ideas. I vote you should do it again!


  31. I DEFINITELY think it's a great challenge and should be repeated! I think my only "change" suggestion would be to provide a few prompts at a time, but then allow people the choice of what ones to do on certain days. I had a few really tough days because of meetings, or just crazy busy-ness (really bad time with my job) and then a collision with vacation, so I had a hard time keeping glued to the schedule. Some ideas would have worked better on different days. I could do all 21, but if I had a little bit of flexibility as to "when" it would have just been easier to get them done and enjoy myself instead of getting stressed about it. But seriously, great work, thanks for putting all your time and energy into it! :)

  32. I love the idea of doing a few one week challenges throughout the year. Maybe seasonally?

    I would also be willing to help out next time!

  33. I would love to do it again, and I think I agree w/ all the points you brought something concrete w/ something more abstract, sundays off (especially in the colder weather!! we here don't leave the house!!). Normally I'd say that 21 days isn't long, but because of when it was scheduled, it was a weird time for me...just too much going on for me to be able to do some of the ones I really wanted to (like anything related to hair).

  34. I only learned about the challenge in the last week, but I did everyday for then on. I was kind of sad that I only got to do 6 or 7 days. I would have loved to participate more. So maybe a 10 day challenge? Easier on you but just a little more of a stretch and commitment for us. I would love to help if you need it. I have so many ideas in my head already! Maybe you could do guest challenges! Less work for you, right?!

    Thank you for doing this challenge. It really got me thinking outside of the box. I'm a stay-at-home mom and it's so easy not to put any effort in and spend all day in PJ's. It's crazy because I loved the days when I got to "dress up" for work. During one of the challenge days, the mom of one of the kids I baby sit, asked me why I was all dressed up when I didn't have anywhere special to go. "Um, because I can and I want to." Thanks for reminding me that I don't have to be stuck in the same old jeans and tee.

    (I don't know why it won't let me use my google account to comment, so here's my email: kricket3603{at}hotmail{dot}com. Seriously, I would love to help!)

  35. Thanks for organising this, Kayla! It's been so much fun. The length was perfect for me, and I've come to appreciate the clothes I already have much more. I also really appreciated your casual approach to photography - with so many great photographer bloggers around I feel like I'm just not up to standard (and I'm not!) but your comments to start off with about photography/involvement were really encouraging. This morning I was lamenting to husband about how I'll have to get dressed on my own again now!

  36. I didn't participate, but followed the posts and got inspired to try a few things myself. I think a one week challenge would be awesome! Thanks for inspiring us to use what is in our closets creatively!!

  37. One thing I thought of for the flicker pics, is that since the group was so big, it might be nice to have a different group for each prompt, or a specific tag for each prompt. I think it would be nice for browsing, and it might make tracking points easier.

  38. I thought that challenge was way fun. However, I did feel a little burned out towards the end. I got to the point where I just wanted to wear something without restrictions or lines it had to follow. Therefore, I think a rest day would be a FABULOUS idea. However, I would suggest it being a Saturday instead of a Sunday. For me, at least, Saturday is the only day that I don't always have to go somewhere. I always go to church on Sundays so I get dressed that day anyway, but Saturday is the day that I do yard work and/or house work and just kind of hang around. So it was a little hard for me to have to get dressed up those days lol.

    ALL IN ALL I loved the challenge!

  39. Awesome challenge, Kayla! I love that you are soliciting feedback right away while it's still fresh in our minds. Here are my thoughts:

    1. I can totally see how 21 days was too much for you on your own and others for participating, but I think a week would be too short to have varied challenges. One way I can see a week working is to have themed challenges, like, all about color or pattern or something like that.

    2. I would most prefer 10 days: 2 weeks with weekends off. I think that might be a happy medium between length and, um, sanity.

    3. I would love love love stats and weekly round-ups, and I am happy to help with tracking and tallying for those. You know where to find me! :)

  40. I think this was SO much fun and thank you so so much for hosting it!! I'd love to participate in another one. I like the idea of giving us a rest day every once a week throughout the 21 days. Like RA, I'd love to see stats throughout the challenge and weekly roundups! And I can help with anything... Just let me know! Thanks again for doing this!!

  41. wow Kayla
    i am impressed on how much feed back you have gotten!!
    that is awesome.
    of course i would love to collaborate with you, but it looks like you have tons of volunteers for that.
    but know that i am available!! :)
    i liked the longer challenge, it makes you commit and really think about what you are doing
    i totally agree with having weekends off though
    i love the idea of a seasonal change to the challenge as well.
    thanks so much for all of your hard work, if you read my blog today you will see i am having challenge withdrawal!!

  42. I think the challenge was great- although I found your blog in the middle and was not able to participate. I think I would have been able to participant if you could have maybe on Sunday posted a preview of the challenges for the week ahead so I could work out my ideas a bit...

  43. I loved this! Especially the posting to Flickr! I agree that a day off would be nice! I rarely get dressed up on weekends ;)

  44. First off, thanks for hosting. It was fun and I can only imagine how much work went into it.

    Secondly I would love to participate in another, especially in cooler weather.

    Thirdly um...I like the idea of one week challenges, even if no one on the Internet sees my outfits. It just helped me get dressed.

    Thank you thank you again!

  45. I thought the challenge was good, except some of the prompts were too open to interpretation. I guess it's difficult to make something general enough for everyone to be able to follow though.

    My only thing is that the challenge is really fast paced. I got stressed out because I couldn't get my posts up before the link party closed (I have three outfits that didn't make it... one from Friday that I haven't even had time to sit down and write up a post from yet) so this challenge was definitely not for me. It looks like other people didn't have a problem with that though!

  46. Grr. Blogger just ate my comment.

    1. I think weekends off is a really good idea. I try and unplug completely on weekends to regain/maintain my sanity, and I can't imagine not having the same for whomever is organizing/spearheading this particularly kind of blogging party.

    2. I didn't mind the length, but I did find the last week that I was lucky to post even once. Let alone every day. So....there's that I suppose.

    3. Thank you so much for spearheading this challenge! What a fun idea!


  47. Kayla--way to go with all your hard work! No wonder--with 2 posts / day + point tallying + lots of post commenting on your part, you bet it was busy for you!! In my own little way, it was pretty busy too, so I love the idea of taking the weekends off. I love RA's idea of 10 day challenges with weekends off. And add my name to the list of willing collaborators!

  48. First of all, amazing job putting everything together, thank you so much for a great experience!

    I think that 21 days worked for me, except that I would like to have taken the weekends off. I think smaller challenges (like one week long) would be a great idea too, because that way they could take place more often, and you wouldn't be going crazy for a full three weeks organizing everything! :)
    This challenge definitely did make me re-examine the possibilities in my closet, I thought more about what I was wearing each day and was much happier with the outfits that I came up with.

    :) thank you so much!
    p.s. for winter...colored tights challenge??

  49. My main concern(which I addressed on my blog)was the timing. It was just too hot outside for me(I know others did it) to try to come up w/ outfits. August is just not a month to be layering(I'm sensitive to heat-really I just wanted to throw in more parentheses in here). Outfits are so boring or impossible w/o it. This was such a great idea and I'm probably just nitpicking. The week long challenge sounds great and doing it in Feb or March would be fab. I would totally help you w/it too if you'd be interested or decide to do it again!


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